After the army's capture of Viduthalaithiv sea tiger base on early morning last Wednesday (16th), LTTE activity further north of the base has increased. This is due to the fact that some of the LTTE cadres who were manning the base fled in the face of the army advance along with some of the hardware on the base. Around 30 LTTE cadres are believed to have been killed in the battle during which the army took control of a well fortified 2km long defence line in close proximity of the base. Exact number of LTTE casualties are not known. The rest of the LTTE cadres manning the base have fled further towards the north along with some of the military hardware (while leaving behind some) in the base.
Image: Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army after the capture of Viduthalaithiv. One of the boats left behind by the tigers can also been seen. Source : www.army.lk
The air force has been actively targeting the cadres who managed to escape and who are now trying to station themselves further north of Viduthalaithiv. On the 16th, Mi-24 helicopter gunships attacked two boats around 5km north of the base. On the same day, SLAF's bombers attacked a medium sized sea tiger base some 40km north of Viduthalaithiv. On yesterday (17th), Mi-24s attacked another LTTE regrouping attempt in Iluppaikkadavai which is located 5km north of the fallen base.
The army will maintain a permanent presence in Viduthaliathivu due to its strategic importance in the defence of the western coastline of the island. Naval Commandos of the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) along with other regular and elite infantry units of the army will most likely be stationed there once ongoing search operations in the area are completed.